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Robert ​W. McDowell

Robert McDowell
Title Partner, Co-Chair of Financial Institutions Group
Languages Spoken English


Robert McDowell


Robert McDowell is Co-Chair of Fasken Martineau's Financial Institutions Group. He has been named a 2014 BTI Client Service All-Star for his dedication to client service excellence.

Robert is consistently recognized for his insurance and financial institutions expertise in many leading industry publications such as Chambers Canada (2016), Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory (2010-2015), IFLR1000 (2014-2017), Legal 500 Canada (2015-2016), Best Lawyers in Canada (2011-2016) and The International Who's Who of Insurance & Reinsurance Lawyers (2010-2015).

Robert has a business law practice specializing in advising life and general insurance companies, deposit taking institutions, cooperatives, credit unions and other financial institutions on transactional, financing, corporate, governanceregulatory and risk management matters. He has led several significant transactions in the insurance industry including advising:

  • Aviva Canada Inc. on the acquisition of RBC General Insurance Company and entry into a 15 year strategic agreement with RBC signed in January 2016.
  • Westaim on the completion of a $234 million financing for the creation of Arena Finance to provide Alternative Credit Asset Financing completed in August 2015.
  • Intact Financial Corporation on the acquisition of Canadian Direct Insurance from Canadian Western Bank completed in May 2015.
  • The Co-operators on the acquisition of Premier Group of Companies completed in April 2015.
  • Esurance Insurance Company of Canada on its incorporation and licensing in 2015.
  • Three financings in 2014 for underwriters, two for Equitable Bank and one for Westaim, an insurance holding company.
  • Intact on the acquisition of JEVCO, and The Co-operators on its disposition of L’Union Canadienne. Robert is the only Insurance lawyer to lead on both of the two largest insurance transactions in Canada in 2012.

Robert is also currently leading the establishment of a speciality insurer and an insurance company reorganization in Canada.

Financial Institutions Advice

Robert acts on the creation, structuring, incorporation and registration of domestic and foreign insurers, banks, credit unions, and cooperatives.

Transactional Expertise

Robert acts on the merger, acquisition, reorganization and public and private financing of life and general insurance companies, reinsurers, banks, trust companies, cooperatives and credit unions, as well as the demutualization of life and general insurance companies.

Robert’s transactional expertise includes share and asset acquisitions and dispositions, portfolio transfers, assumption and indemnity reinsurance, demutualization, insurance linked securities and public and private financing.

Regulatory Advice

Robert has advised extensively on matters involving regulatory advice regarding transactions and other matters and has significant expertise dealing with financial institution regulators including:

Cross-Border and International Experience

Robert advises many international insurers and financial institutions from the United States, Europe and Asia on transaction, business and regulatory matters. Robert’s clients include Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, Assured Guaranty, Stewart Title, Liberty Mutual, Swiss Re, Intact, Co-Operators, Primerica, Foresters, Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of India, among others.

Business Experience

Robert's business experience includes being a director, conduct review committee member, audit committee member and risk committee member of life and general insurance companies.

Industry Involvement

Robert is active at the National Insurance Conference of Canada, the Langdon Hall Forum on Financial Services for the Life Insurance Industry and the Property and Casualty Insurance Industry, and others.